Oregon’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana has now been formally named Measure 91 by the Secretary of State’s office. It is well known that Millennials support marijuana legalization in greater numbers than do Baby Boomers. To build awareness for Oregon’s M-91 among the generation that remembers what an encyclopedia is we present these 9.1 reasons M-91 will be a good thing for your parents.
1) M-91 recognizes the reality that marijuana cultivation, sales, and use are not going anywhere. Your parents are old enough to remember President Nixon declaring “all-out war on Public Enemy #1 [drugs]”, President Reagan promising a drug-free America, and the first President Bush promising to “make room” in prisons for all the drug pushers. How’d that work out, folks? M-91 is a responsible public policy that moves a never-ending supply of and demand for marijuana into a legal, regulated marketplace.
2) M-91 is good for the environment. Marijuana growers don’t convert residences to indoor grow houses because they want to. Prohibition means they can’t farm marijuana under the sun; you don’t find many indoor vineyards or tobacco plantations. It’s estimated that 9% of all California household electricity is dedicated to indoor marijuana growing; it’s a good bet that Oregon’s rate is close to that. M-91 helps move marijuana cultivation outdoors, reducing our carbon footprint.
3) M-91 finally exerts control over marijuana cultivation. Marijuana growers don’t plant crops in remote state forest locations because they enjoy the hiking. Again, prohibition forces growers into places we don’t want them, where they can do significant damage to wildlife habitat. Under M-91, people who want to make money growing lots of marijuana can do so in an inspected, regulated, secure manner like any other farmer, protecting Oregon’s beautiful outdoors.
4) M-91 finally exerts control over marijuana sales. Drug dealers don’t check ID, especially when many of the drug dealers are under-aged as well. M-91 takes marijuana sales off the streets and into secure, adults-only stores that card kids – like the 100% ID compliance found in recent under age stings in Colorado. M-91 also reduces price, increases selection, and guarantees quality in a way that most drug dealers won’t be able to compete with.
5) M-91 raises money for the state without raising your taxes. If your parents don’t use cannabis, then M-91 is a perfect way to raise money for the state. 11.1 percent of Oregon adults 21 and older use cannabis monthly and we spend your parents’ tax dollars futilely writing tickets and arresting people to try to stop them from doing so. Under M-91, the state makes $35 on every ounce sold and $5 on every marijuana seedling sold, which is far more than the current zero dollars the state makes on marijuana.
6) M-91 directs tax revenues to cops and frees them up to fight real crime. Maybe your parents remember that tragic story last May in Southern Oregon where a woman calls 911 to report her ex-boyfriend attempting break into her home. Thanks to police budget cuts, the 911 operator was forced to tell her, “I don’t have anybody to send out there. You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away?” The woman ended up being choked and raped by the ex-boyfriend that night. Under M-91, state and local police get more than a third (35%) of the marijuana tax revenue and they don’t have to waste any more time investigating and busting legal marijuana growers, sellers, and users.
7) M-91 treats marijuana as a personal adult choice, not a crime. Nobody thinks we’re encouraging cigarette smoking or irresponsible drinking just because those are legal. Most smokers want to quit and we provide them many ways to do so. Most drinkers enjoy their buzz without descending into alcoholism and we provide medical help for those few who do. Under M-91, we finally trust adults to handle responsibly a substance far safer than the two legal drugs. Also, we end criminal stigma for the few who have a unhealthy dependence on marijuana and wish to seek medical help, to which M-91 directs a quarter of marijuana tax revenues.
8) M-91 provides a safer recreational alternative to alcohol. Many people enjoy a good beer or wine, maybe even a cocktail to relax and unwind. But as we age, our body’s ability to recover from the effects of alcohol begins to decline and hangovers become more debilitating. Marijuana isn’t just smoking joints anymore. From infused edibles to vaporizers, there are clean, classy ways for older adults to enjoy cannabis and avoid hangovers.
9) M-91 doesn’t alter the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Perhaps your parents already benefit from the medical use of cannabis. M-91’s not going to change that – if your parents have a serious medical condition, they can still visit a doctor, get a recommendation, register with the state, grow and possess the same amounts of marijuana they do now, and shop at state-licensed dispensaries free from M-91’s taxes and limitations. However…
9.1) M-91 makes medical marijuana available without hassle. Maybe your parents don’t have a serious condition, but you find them popping acetaminophen like candy for their aches and pains, using sleeping pills to get some rest, or taking prescriptions for depression. Under M-91, your parents can try a medicinal salve, infused edible, or vapor pen without registering with the state and spending a lot of money.